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Lacey Miller

The cultures of the Ancient Near East maintained a strict social hierarchy. The rules and conditions of everyday life, politics, and commerce changed based on your position in society. Discuss examples of this and how the visual record of Mesopotamia helps us understand the lives of its inhabitants.

I think one of the most blatant examples and representations of the hierarchy is CARVED VESSEL from Uruk. It lays out pretty clearly the importance and social standing of each social class. Most art of this time, especially the pieces depicting a scene of some sort use position as a representation of power and greatness, the most powerful figure generally being at the top. Most also depict the servants and slaves of the time, CYLINDER SEALS
From the tomb of Queen Puabi. This representation of the servants was not to pay them homage but rather to bolster the ruler’s greatness.
These visual representations tell us that there were very strict and adhered to social classes that determined ones’ social standing.